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PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR INDIVIDUALS:
When life gets hard we can feel isolated and cutoff - from ourselves as well as from the people around us. We often find that when we most need to feel kindness towards ourselves it can be hardest to find. My work is to help you find that kindness for yourself, and to support you in strengthening your capacity to meet whatever life brings with courage and confidence.
I work collaboratively to help you become more aware of how you respond to the stimulus of your life - the external events and situations, as well as the internal messages and beliefs that you carry, most of which were acquired in childhood. Many of those conditioned beliefs no longer serve us as adults, yet they continue to feel like such an integral part of who we are, that we don’t question them until we are brought up short by challenging experiences like depression or anxiety. And, actually, all of our experiences, even the most disturbing ones, have the potential to lead us in the direction of change, growth, healing and greater connection and wholeness. Together we will explore and inquire into your life experiences with kindness and curiosity.
Coming to therapy is a courageous and vulnerable step to take. It is also an opportunity to make an investment in yourself - to set aside an hour a week that is just for you, dedicated to your growth and wellbeing. I invite you to bring whatever feels hard or happy, painful or pleasurable. I invite you to come make a home for yourself.
PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR COUPLES:
Close, intimate relationships are something most (though not all) of us desire throughout our lives. We long and seek to be loved, held, comforted and supported, and we discover that loving, holding, comforting and supporting someone else is wonderful too! But intimate relationships are also challenging. We tend to bring all the “stuff” from our childhoods - especially from our relationships with parents and siblings - into these adult couplings, and our loved one brings all of their "stuff" as well. So we end up with a wonderfully rich, sometimes glorious, sometimes very painful situation on our hands which we struggle to understand and "fix". These relationships offer us a huge opportunity to grow and understand ourselves and our partner in ways that might never happen otherwise.
My work with couples involves helping you to become aware of and understand the dynamics that are happening, often unconsciously, between the two of you. I will point them out as they arise in session, and I will guide you in exploring them with curiosity, respect and kindness. At the root of most conflict with couples lies a deep, mutual desire to be loved, acknowledged and cared for as you are. When we feel that that desire is not being met, or that the opposite is happening, we experience a lot of pain and we lash out, withdraw or both. My job is to help you both see that at the heart of it all you want the same thing, but that your conditioning, that “stuff” from childhood, is operating covertly, creating conflict and tension. Together we begin to identify and unpack the conditioning that each of you brings to the relationship, and in that process, understanding, empathy and caring have a chance to grow and flourish.
I work with intimate relationships of all configurations. I specialize in working with male same-sex couples.
Play is the language children “speak” long before their capacity for verbal communication is established. So, in therapy with children (approx. ages 3 - 16), play is the medium. I offer the child an environment with many invitations to play: sandtray figures, toys, games, dollhouse, puppets, balls, dress up clothes and more. In this safe, confidential and caring environment the child is given as few limits as possible, offering them the opportunity to express and explore their inner emotional landscape through fantasy play. As the therapist, I use developmentally appropriate techniques to help the child release negative emotional material, and build greater self-confidence and competency. This is also a very special time for your child, a period once a week where she or he receives undivided, nonjudgemental attention from a caring adult.
I work with children ages 3 to 16. I have received training and supervision in Sandplay therapy, and child-centered play therapy modalities. I also bring 30 years of experience working with children in many contexts: as a pre-school teacher, facilitator of loss and grief groups for children, school-based support groups for middle-schoolers, theater improv teacher, and, not least, as the father of a 13 year-old adopted boy.
“What is the difference between therapy and coaching?” It’s a question people ask a lot. My basic response is that therapy often looks into the past to understand what we are experiencing in the present, while coaching looks toward the future, asking, “where are we going, and what do we want our lives to be about?” Truthfully, there is a great deal that is similar between the two modalities. Both seek to understand our present day experience - who we are right now - and both are very interested in who we are becoming, and the direction we are pointing ourselves in. At this point in my career I feel that the therapy I offer gives people a broader spectrum of resources in the session, and coaching is an approach that I bring into therapy when what is needed has more to do with taking action and moving past blocks that are in your way.
I do offer coaching as a separate modality, though, in certain situations and for certain people:
As a child therapist and the parent of an adopted 13 year old, I have a passion for helping parents find their way through the sometimes harrowing adventures of parenthood. Together we will clarify your needs and intentions and seek to understand the needs of your child (who I may or may not be seeing in my practice). We will explore the approaches you have used in parenting (your style), and look at how those may or may not be serving your situation. From there we will develop a plan which you can experiment with and adopt to your relationship with your child. No matter how many books claim to have a “formula” which, if you would just follow it consistently would create the exact change you want, my experience is that every parent-child relationship is unique and no one approach is the panacea for every problem. We will work together to find the approach that fits you and is most effective with your child.
FOR ARTISTS AND CREATIVILY INCLINED INDIVIDUALS
Whether you are a professional artist/musician/performer or an "amateur" seeking to make your creative interests a greater priority in your life, I offer coaching to help you understand and move past the blocks that may be in the way of your bringing your creative impulses into reality. I have over 15 years of experience working with many different types of creative people and I bring my own experience and struggles to the table. Daring to be creative in a culture that devalues creativity on the one hand while worshiping the famous few on the other, requires courage. I have a passion for supporting, encouraging and challenging creative folks to reach for their dreams and give themselves and the rest of us the gift of their imaginations.